When Jacob Elordi made his Hollywood debut in the 2018 Netflix original film The Kissing Booth, it didn’t take long for him to become a Gen Z heartthrob. But the perks of being famous come with quite a few disadvantages, one of the biggest for Elordi being the public conversation about his body.
The Kissing Booth introduces Elordi to the world as Noah Flynn, a high school jock with a secret thing for Elle Evans (Joey King), the best friend of his younger brother Lee (Joel Courtney). Noah is supposed to be the irresistible love interest, all abs and good hair, so Elordi had to look the part. The Australian actor bulked up for the Netflix role, spending every day that he could in the gym.
Elordi's efforts paid off. When the film was released, he gained an instant fandom of people fully entranced by his character's striking good looks. But being in the spotlight also made the star feel more self-conscious especially since so much of the conversation was about his body.
“[The Kissing Booth] was all about sculpting and making sure I had this figure that I thought the character needed,” said Elordi in a candid conversation with Men's Health. "I trained extensively for the first film, because it said it in the script. I was so terribly nervous that I wouldn’t be what the script wanted me to be.”
"I was super young and got thrown into a world where everyone wanted to talk about my body," he shared. "It really fucking bothered me."
Following the success of The Kissing Booth, it wouldn't be stretch to say that Elordi wants fans to see him for more than just he looks. That would explain his turn from likable hottie Noah to unstable Nate in HBO's Euphoria. If you were crushing on Elordi after seeing him romance King onscreen, there's a good chance that you changed your mind after watching the actor absolutely lose his shit in Euphoria. The day and night difference between the two characters is a testament to the rookie actor's acting range — it really does take serious talent to get that dark on camera.
Whether he's Nate or Noah, Elordi hopes that fans can enjoy every project that he takes on without objectifying him or obsessing over his looks. The attention, as expected, is nice, but it shouldn't eclipse what he came to Hollywood to do: act.
"I don’t identify with that whatsoever," said Elordi. "[I'm] trying to prove myself and be known as an actor."